The Rogers State Men's Basketball battled to a 88-82 loss to No. 4 ranked St. Edward's University Saturday afternoon at the Claremore Expo Center.
The Hillcats (13-6, 2-3 Heartland) took an early lead against the Hilltoppers (17-1, 6-0), but the league leaders quickly took control and opened up a 12-point cushion after 15 minutes of play. The visitors were fueled by a 7-for-7 first half from Ryan Garza, including four three pointers, and another 16 points from Ashton Spears in the opening half.
However, Rogers State battled back thanks to an all-around performance with five Hillcats finishing in double figures.
The Hillcats were able to cut the deficit to just seven at the break and kept pace with the visitors through the entirety of the second half, coming as close as three points with 11 seconds remaining in the game.
Latrell Tidwell and Tate Turner shared in the team high with 19 points each. Tidwell was 7-of-10 from the field and Turner was 6-of-12. Both players were 5-for-5 from the free-throw line.
Tidwell also had seven rebounds and a block, while Turner finished with four assists, three rebounds and a block.
Brewster Peacock had 11 points in the game and finished with five rebounds, while Saint Hilaire had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Chase Littlejohn came off the bench to finish with 11 points and a steal.
The Hillcats outshot the Hilltoppers in the contest with Rogers State shooting 51 percent from the field. St. Edward's shot just 44 percent for the game.
St. Edward's held a slight advantage in rebounds 37-35 and the Hilltoppers forced 13 turnovers from the Hillcats. St. Edward's led in points off turnovers 18-8.
Rogers State will hit the road for the first of three straight away from the Claremore Expo Center as the Hillcats will travel to San Antonio, Texas to take on St. Mary's University Thursday evening. The Hillcats and Rattlers will tip off at 7:30 p.m. at the Bill Greehey Arena.